'Turkey sees continued growth in shipbuilding'
Foreign Trade Minister Kursat Tuzmen has said Turkey will continue to grow in the shipbuilding industry, improving its standing as the third largest yacht builder in the world and eighth in shipbuilding.
Speaking in Kocaeli Tüzmen said shipbuilding in Turkey is primarily supported by free trade zones (FTZs) that currently provide jobs to some 50,000 workers. Tüzmen was in the Kocaeli Free Trade Zone (KOBSTAŞ) to participate in a ceremony to deliver to Saudi officials the luxury yacht Nourah of Riyadh (Riyadh's Splendor), built for Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud by Turkish-Lebanese yacht builder Yachtley Gemi Yapım A.Ş.
Underlining that each FTZ has become specialized in certain areas, the minister said FTZs in Kocaeli, Antalya and Adana have concentrated on shipbuilding. "We thank all our entrepreneurs who have contributed to the development of free trade zones," he added.
The Aegean FTZ specializes in space technologies and aviation, while the İstanbul Atatürk Airport Free Trade Zone (İSBİ) is focused on software program development. FTZs in Turkey enjoy a $22 billion trade volume.
With regards to the Saudi royal family's new yacht, he said Nourah of Riyadh, 65 meters in length, was the largest-ever motorized yacht built in Turkey. "This is a clear sign that we are growing fast in shipbuilding. Our experts have already started preparations to build a 75-meter yacht here in Kocaeli. Turkey has gotten used to breaking new records, and we will work harder to introduce even better projects," he said.